THE GANGSTERS ALL HERE Live Tweet movie for Sat., Oct. 31: CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN (1955)

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You didn’t think The Gangsters All Here was going to ignore Halloween, did you? Darned if we didn’t dig deep in the vaults and find an honest-to-gosh gangster-zombie movie for ya!

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Creature with the Atom Brain chronicles the only-slightly-hard-to-swallow tale of Frank Buchanan (Michael Granger), an exiled American gangster who has sworn revenge on the former cohorts who squealed on him. With the help of ex-Nazi-but-nevertheless-mad-scientist Dr. Wilhelm Steigg (Gregory Gaye), Frank returns to America and gets his vengeance. Dr. Steigg is able to use atomically charged brains to reanimate corpses, whom Frank then uses to wipe out his old enemies.( It’s a bit like Plan 9 from Outer Space [released four years later], but with the backing of Columbia Pictures to give the movie a thin veneer of legitimacy.)

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Luckily, there’s a relentless good guy on the case, in the form of habitually pipe-smoking police scientist Chet Walker (Richard Denning from Creature from the Black Lagoon) — who, in best ‘50s chauvinistic style, seems just as interested in slapping his wife on her behind and demanding a cold martini from her as he does in solving the strange case of multiple murders. And speaking of behinds…

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On a scale of 1 to 5 fannies, I’d give this one a 3. It’s not quite as bad as anything that writer-director Ed Wood ever cooked up, but it’s not for lack of trying. You’ll be amazed at how nonchalant people are when they’re accosted by monotone gunslingers with huge stitches across their foreheads.

HEAD1. When this movie was first released, it was banned in Sweden and Finland (giving those countries far more points for good taste than I previously would have).

2. The movie’s title inspired a same-named song (by a performer named Roky Erickson), which in turn provided the name for an alternative rock band from Antwerp, Belgium.

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4 responses to “THE GANGSTERS ALL HERE Live Tweet movie for Sat., Oct. 31: CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN (1955)

  1. Denning went on to play the Governor of Hawaii on Hawaii 5-0. I’ve been watching that old tv hit via Netflix, and he’s the governor on the first two seasons, having reasons to call in McGarrit and his team to defeat numerous baddies, but no gangster zombies, alas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never seen this one, sounds like the kind of movie that is a lot of fun if you go into it with the right expectations. Roky Erickson is a real blast from the past, lead singer of the legendary US psychedelic rock band 13th Floor Elevators who inspired much of Julian Cope’s solo output

    Liked by 1 person

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